What’s in a Name?
In a case as culturally loaded as this one, language is crucial in cementing public perceptions about the veracity and character of the accuser. Court TV anchor Catherine Crier says that one of the things that makes the “race” and “class” issues in this story so prominent is the question dogging the alleged victim: “Is she a wanton woman?”
Writing for Arianna Huffington’s blog, legal analyst Karen Russell raised the key issue of how the media should describe the woman: “Victim? Accuser? Single mom? Exotic dancer? Part-time student? Stripper?”
It sure seems to make a difference.
Weighing in from his side of the class divide, Rush Limbaugh told his dittoheads that the Duke athletes were accused of raping some “hos.” (He later called that terminology a “terrible slip of the tongue.”)